web analytics

Coromandel mine claims rubbished

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 am, March 25th, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: Conservation, Economy, Mining, poverty - Tags: ,

Denis Tegg is spokesperson for Coromandel Watchdog, the group that lead the fight against mining the last time it was the Right’s big new idea in the 1980s and early 1990s. It was Coromandel Watchdog’s efforts that principally led to the creation of Schedule 4 of the Conservation Act, which protects National Parks and some other DoC land from mining. He writes:

A mining lobbyist has produced grossly inflated back of the envelope figures for the “value” of New Zealand’s mineral resources. These have been used relentlessly by the Government and the media has quoted them almost unchallenged [this was written before TVOne got on to the job].

So I thought I would do some back of the envelope calculations myself.

Page 28 of the Government’s Discussion Paper Appendix 1 says that the value of potential resources mostly gold and silver on the Coromandel is $54 billion.

The next paragraph says mineral production from the open pit mine at Martha Hill Waihi is valued at $225 million per annum.

The average life of a modern mine is around 10 years so the value of total production per open pit mine would be $2.25 billion.

Let’s put aside for the moment that most of this “value” heads offshore.  Or that Newmont’s own Social Impact Report says mining town Waihi has high unemployment levels, double the rate of welfare dependency and lower wage levels than nearby towns of the same size.  Or that it score 10 out of 10 for “social deprivation” (10 is worst)

So how many open pit mines “worth” $2.25 billion do we need to have operating to achieve the potential $54 million of resources? The back of my envelope gives the answer.  24 open pit mines on the Coromandel!

Mr Brownlee won’t rule out open pit mining but under pressure in Parliament on 23 March John Key said he (note he not the Government) would rule out open cast mines on the Coromandel.

Let’s not be churlish about the total confusion and panic in the Government ranks. Let’s accept Key’s “on the hoof” assurances that there will not be any open pit mines.

Which means only underground mines are left to achieve the digging out of this incredible $54 billion potential.

The back of my envelope tells me that underground mines are about 1/20 of the size of an open pit mine. So we are going to need nearly 500 underground mines on the Coromandel, each operating for 10 years to achieve this stupendous $54 billion-dollar bonanza!

If you are looking for further evidence that the Government’s figures are wildly exaggerated its on page 23 of the discussion paper.

There it states that after 66 years of intense activity the Thames goldfield produced just $3.6 billion of gold at today’s prices.  Yet by some miracle, the Thames and another Coromandel gold prospects are going to lead us to economic nirvana in the next few years and we are going to achieve a $54 billion-dollar bonanza.

But wait there is more — Minerals Association lobbyist Doug Gordon says only one in 1000 prospects ever turn into a workable economic mine. So Gordon’s statements mean we have to divide the potential $54 billion by 1000 — giving a figure of only $54 million straight off the bat.

Denis Tegg

www.watchdog.org.nz

sign on for help with submissions at watchdog@pohtukawa.org.nz

16 comments on “Coromandel mine claims rubbished ”

  1. The average life of a modern mine is around 10 years so the value of total production per open pit mine would be $2.25 billion

    Actually, the NPV of the income stream, which is about $1.7 billion at a nominal 5% (note: the government uses 10% for all its internal accounting decisions), or $2.8 billion if we double the life of th emine to 20 years.

  2. Cnr Joe 2

    Theres gold in them there priceless habitats! Some.

  3. TightyRighty 3

    curse those M and B buttons being so close together. with all due respect to your obvious expertise on the issue, your conclusion is just plain wrong. you can not simplistically divide $54 billion by 1000 to state what you believe is the actual output. there are not 1000 open cast mines in auckland city where mining has occured in the past. nor on the west coast or in the coromandel. this is all about exploration, no one is digging yet. if digging occurs it will be at the location with the highest possible return, and hopefully the lowest possible impact on the surrounds. come back when the hysteria in you has died down, and maybe the rhetoric too, and present a more valid argument.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      “are not 1000 open cast mines in auckland city where mining has occured in the past. nor on the west coast or in the coromandel.”

      that’s because it’s one in a 1,000 prospects that come off, not one in a thousand mines.

      Unless you know beter than the Minerals Association, of course.

      • TightyRighty 3.1.1

        no, i don’t know better. my point was that one in a thousand prospects that come off does not automatically mean there is only 1/1000 of the estimated mineral wealth in any one spot. it’s simplistic conclusions like that that lend nothing of any value to the debate. if mineral wealth was spread that evenly i could have a hole in my backyard and be mortgage free. and ground floor apartments would be worth more than penthouses because you’d be able to build a pool and pay for it with the earth you pulled out.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          A mining lobbyist has produced grossly inflated back of the envelope figures for the “value’ of New Zealand’s mineral resources. These have been used relentlessly by the Government and the media has quoted them almost unchallenged [this was written before TVOne got on to the job].

          So I thought I would do some back of the envelope calculations myself.

          The whole point of the post being that, you know, the numbers Brownlee has been throwing around are shit.

  4. Armchair Critic 4

    “present a more valid argument.”
    Something more like s4 lands are priceless, so arguing the economics of mining and therefore implying that mining could be acceptable at some price, is pointless.

  5. freedom 5

    the standard is being censored

    [lprent: No it isn’t. You’re just too impatient about a comment that went into the spam queue.

    Remember this site is run on a voluntary basis by people giving it time when they have some. One of my tasks is to rescue or approve items caught in the spam queue. Yesterday I went to work without my iPhone, which meant that I couldn’t tether to the internet, which meant that my abilities to admin the site were quite restricted.

    However I’m now starting to get interested in banning you because you’re getting irritating and wasting too much of my precious time. ]

    • freedom 5.1

      turns out the link i was trying to post is on the site’s spam filter’s list.
      Why is an internationally recognised academic site on a spam list?
      the link is now spaced so at least it can be seen
      a e 9 1 1 t r u t h . o r g
      the post is
      “no-one said it was going to be easy

      all we can do is point people to information, such as the fact that one of the most academic and heavily regulated information sites on 9/11 Truth last week presented a new legal challenge to the Official story and was signed by 1,000 members.

      A site that to be a member of, you must be a qualified Architect or an Engineer.
      read that again and let it soak in

      1,000 qualified Architects and Engineers challenging an Official declaration from their Government. A challenge based on questions of the physical events, nothing else. No Politics. No accusations, just the facts people, nothing but the facts. Why would they do that if the Truth was not in question?

  6. Stacktwo 6

    A few days before Brownlee and Key admitted the so-called hysterical claims of Forest & Bird et al were in fact accurate, the Herald reported ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10632712)

    “Linda Willoughby of Newmont mining corporation, which operates in Waihi, said the company had no interest in Otahu or Parakawai at the moment.

    Nor did it have any plans to mine areas near Thames township that are at risk from flooding and storm damage. “They are totally off the radar,” she said.

    Peter Atkinson of mining company Heritage – the last mining company that was interested in mining in protected areas of the Coromandel before they were placed off limits in the 1990s – was not interested in anything north of the Kopu-Hikuai Rd, the so-called “green line” marking the beginning of protected Schedule 4 land.

    “I don’t know of anyone who is even looking at it,” he said. “As for national parks, dream on,” he said.”

    I wonder how much of the tottering edifice the government is erecting is founded on the speculation of the starry-eyed Richard Baker and the desperation of our clueless leaders?

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Yes, this “lets take the number and divide it by 1000” is quite frankly, stupid and shows ignorance of the situation.

    You realise that when they say “lets go mine in the Corromandal because there’s lots of gold there”, they have effectively already cut out 990 of the bad prospects?

    • Bright Red 7.1

      Lanthanide. The 1 in 1000 comes from the Minerals Association.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        so, didn’t you read my bit about mining where it will have the most value and least impact. you know, one of those cost/benefit thingymabobies?

      • TightyRighty 7.1.2

        Lanthanide – if the figure was one prospect in 50 billion, they could be mining for you

  8. Jim Nald 8

    Will this be like a Saruman cometh to Fangorn Forest?
    Can someone tell Sauron to stop it please!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional COVID-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries
    New virus variants and ongoing high rates of diseases in some countries prompt additional border protections Extra (day zero or day one) test to be in place this week New ways of reducing risk before people embark on travel being investigated, including pre-departure testing for people leaving the United Kingdom ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago